Transformation at the Well

by  Andrew Courtney


Groping back to bed after a piss. 
Darker than the bile of my liver. 
Arms reaching, searching for an anchor. 
I stumble, hitting rock bottom again.  

Hyena’s laughter from the sticky floor. 
Somehow the black void spins spins spins, 
An orbit without planets or moons or stars. 
I think I’ll sleep in this bed of whiskey stains. 


Birds singing notes too pretty to scream. 
Afternoon sun on my walls, uninvited. 
The “routine” begins – stand up, laugh, sigh. 
I drink water to fill the dry canyons of my veins.  
But this water keeps me thirsty, again. 
I thirst and I drink, I drink and I thirst. 
Until the thirst is what’s drinking me
Quicker than last night’s double triple shot.  

Regret walks me to a hungover mirror. 
A crying stranger, begging for agency. 
Familiar stranger in a familiar image 
Except for the Word, written in the corner: 
John 4:13-14 


That day was fifty two Sundays ago, 
When knees collapsed on carpet with purpose. 
Repentance is the salt in my tears. 
Forgiveness is the smile beneath them.  

All at once and extending into now 
Death and thirst faded, obliterated. 
A spring welled up in me as I began 
Drinking the overflowing living water.